Clear Views Blog

Insights and strategies around creating cultures of engagement

Making Room for Leadership Creativity

When you want your leadership team to come together and creatively identify solutions to the challenges you are facing, how do you set them and yourself up for success? How do you make room for leadership creativity?

Here’s our secret - why our clients love us. Imagine this:
  • a comfortable room with overstuffed chairs, a grey couch

  • a kitchen nearby for snacks or lunch or end of day drinks

  • a view of the city

  • a large, blank (very important) white board and lots of dry erase markers (that are new)

  • great questions and active listening

This is the physical and experiential canvas, the space into which we invite clients to spend some time identifying challenges, exploring opportunities.

We are allies in this collaborative venture. We are in this with them. Together we map out on the white board the issues, ideas to resolve, the what and the how to go about it, collaborating with them to co-create solutions to their greatest challenges.

We truly listen to their observations and concerns; we reframe to give them a new view or lens through which to observe the issue; we facilitate dialog that both encourages new ideas and challenges their existing lens. Watch below to hear from one of our clients about how our approach worked for them.

Leadership Creativity Assessment

  • Are you creating a physical space that encourages comfort, the ability to relax into new ideas; do you need to change the venue for those creativity sessions?

  • Are you facilitating dialog with a visual focus - a whiteboard or flip chart - so that everyone starts to see a similar “map” of the issue and the possibilities? This is key. We hold so much in our minds that remains unstated and assumed; if we can share a picture of what we are exploring together it moves the conversation to a whole new level.

  • Are you helping them understand the assumptions we all cart into these discussions - the paradigm that defines the prevailing opinion and challenging those views in a way that opens the aperture on the camera lens so to speak? Some common assumptions you may run into are:
    • oh, we tried that already
    • they’ll never give us budget for it
    • we don’t have the resources
    • so-and-so just doesn’t appreciate our work

  •  And at the end of the session (which, we’re sorry, but needs to be longer than 30 minutes or even an hour), are you and the group summarizing the insights, the takeaways and the timeframes for practical application?

Yes, it’s about process - moving a group through defining the goal of the conversation, the reality of the situation, the ideas or options, and then what’s next. But, even more, it’s more about the tools and the way you use them. 

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Leadership Secrets: Disarm Negativity to Build Team Trust

According to neurological research referenced by the Neuroleadership Institute (NLI), here are two conclusions to consider in disarming negativity and building trust on a team: 

  • The brain craves certainty
  • AND the brain is wired to be alert to threat
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What Makes a Great Leader?

While there are many skills and traits that great leaders possess, here are three important ones to consider.

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3 Reasons Leaders Avoid Being Candid with Peers

In most organizations, there exists an Executive Team, the C-suite executives who set the strategy and the direction of the company at a high level. These leaders are leading out in front and they have most of their debate and candor with their highly experienced board members. While these conversations take stock of the current business and execution of the plan, they are designed to be futuristic in nature and are highly influenced by the end game—to secure a new round of funding, to execute the IPO, to maintain or increase stock price with shareholders/the street.

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3 Ways to Move From "Stuck where we are" to "Exploring what’s next"

In our leadership development work, whether providing executive coaching to support an individual moving into a more senior position or training leaders across functions within an organization, there is one speed bump we run into nearly every time which needs to be addressed before significant progress can be made. It is the belief that the leader must be The Expert and he/she must have all the answers. The Expert should be directing others, telling them what to do, and solving the problems. Often, this tends to be a cultural issue, organizationally embedded, where hierarchy and silos are more the norm than is risk taking, vulnerability or unbridled creativity.  

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